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Pharmacy Residency CV: Overview, Layout and Structure

Pharmacy Residency Preparation Specialists

It’s vital that your CV is well organised and structured, allowing your achievements to shine – and thus for you to stand out to program directors. It should be immediately obvious where different elements of your achievements are, and the layout should be a standard format that others will be used to reading. Here, we will work through core points to ensure that your CV is as accessible and efficient as it could possibly be.

First, make sure that you haven’t included anything in your CV that might be misunderstood – that means no acronyms or shortenings of words that (whilst you may think they are standard) could be confusing for someone that pehaps isn’t currently practising, is a practising pharmacist but not aware of the organisation that you’re discussing, etc. Therefore, ensure that you write out full terms, agencies, institution names, etc.

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Next, you should arrange items by section. You should focus on work experience, education, research, leadership and extracurricular interests as major sections. Within each section, you must arrange items in reverse chronological order – that means the most recent item is first, while the oldest item is at the bottom. You might position dates clearly on the left, with the activity on the right, to show the progression over time of your activities.

Education should come first, and should largely centre around your studies in Pharmacy itself. You may choose to dedicate more or less time to previous education depending on how notable your achievements were.

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You must ensure that you spend adequate time clearly describing APPE roles and responsibilities – the residency year is focused on the kind of clinical skills and organisational tasks that will have featured extensively in advanced pharmacy practice experiences. Make sure to include sufficient detail, and reflect on the roles and responsibilities that you undertook. Try to include at least four or five short sentences or bullet points for each. In particular, you may want to address questions like:
– How many patients were you responsible for?
– Did you round with the medical team?
– Did you write chart notes?
– Did you advise the team during rounds?
– Did you make recommendations to the primary preceptor, with them then communicating these to the team during rounds?  
– Did you take on other core activities like checking vital signs, reviewing medication records, monitoring drug pharmacokinetics, teaching others, counselling, educating patients, etc?
– You might also choose to highlight extra steps that you took to increase the number of responsibilities that you had, or to ensure that you were able to have as rounded a learning experience as possible.

When addressing your professional work experience, you should highlight any professional work experience that tallies with pharmacy, or from which the attributes developed and skills learnt are relevant. For example, you might include experience as a pharmacy technician in a community pharmacy, as a research assistant, etc. Remember to write this section in reverse chronological order, and thus to put more focus on the most pertinent, more recent areas – and less focus on the older experiences that may be a little less relevant.

When writing up your research, you should be careful to separate different forms of research or presentation. For example, you might have different types of presentations in separate areas, as something presented at a professional meeting is of much more worth than something presented at your own medical school. That means that you might have one section on presentations given out as part of APPE, and one on presentations given at professional conferences, with the latter given more attention and detail. When writing up a poster, make sure to include each author’s name (last name and first initials) in the order of authorship, and remember to bold your name so that it is evident that you contributed to the poster. This will also help the reader to quickly identify your place in the project. You might also choose to highlight your own contribution by listing one or two bullet points immediately beneath the poster. This is of particular relevance if either the contribution is less immediately clear, or if the poster is of particular worth. When writing up publications, you should be careful to include the correct bibliographic references.

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